When cuddling your new baby, it’s hard to believe that this gorgeous bundle of joy will one day be going to preschool.
The time will come round fast, it pays to be organised in advance, investigate, research and visit in person to achieve the best outcome for your little one.
Where to start…
Location, how far are you prepared/able to travel for the best experience, will there be children in the group who are likely to start school with your child?
OFSTED reports - Search here for OFSTED inspection reports for childcare providers.
Personal recommendation - Speak to mums who have had children attend playgroups in the area.
Investigate costs and hours of operation.
When you visit...
- Look around – are the children occupied and more importantly happy?
- Noise level – will your child be able to settle and learn in this environment?
- Staff – How long have the staff been working there. Do they have a varied range of ages and experience? Are the staff engaging with the children. How are they supervising children?
- Daily Routine – How is the session structured?
- Settling in period – How do they settle the children in?
- Environment – Is there sufficient space, equally could it be too big and overwhelming?
- Learning – Do you agree with the pre-schools philosophy?
What is your gut feeling?
- Trust your instincts – The pre-school with amazing facilities/ toys may not be the one that makes you feel confident and happy to leave your child there.
Every child is different. Are you happy that they will cater for the tiny details that are so important to you and your child that might be insignificant to others?
What helped you choose the right pre-school?